You Know WWE Is Fake Right?

If there’s one phrase I’ve become tired of hearing over the last 20+ years of watching wrestling it’s the one I’m sure we have all heard enough times to make us want to slap someone in the Yes! Lock. That phrase is of course “You know wrestling isn’t real right?”. This is also usually followed by “It’s all predetermined so how can you like it?”. Whilst everyone is entitled to their opinion I find it pretty patronising that people assume I don’t already know this. I’ve known it’s not real since I was around 9 or 10 years old. But just because it is all predetermined does it really mean that there are not real elements that go into the product? I take a look at some examples I have given in the past, or would point to in the future.

Vinny

For anyone who saw what Cameron’s boyfriend Vinny on Total Divas went through last week at the WWE Performance Centre with Bill DeMott, it shows that there is a huge physical demand on the body and your fitness need to be top level constantly. DeMott worked Vinny hard, and I can only imagine what he had him doing was just a small portion of what the superstars have to go through on a weekly basis. I can whole heartedly say that hands down I could not do what these guys and girls go through for the majority of their lives in that ring, taking the punishment they do. When people say to me it’s not a sport then why do the superstars need to be at the peak of physical fitness? WWE superstars are probably some of the fittest athletes on the planet and could easily put many other sports stars to shame.

It should also be noted that being a WWE superstar means that you dedicate most of their lives to the sport for little or no gain at the end of your career. Think of the emotional toll it must take on the wrestlers and their families when they don’t see their kids for Christmas or on their birthdays. If you want to look at the long term physical effects then look no further than hardcore legend Terry Funk. In the 1999 documentary Beyond The Mat Funk was shown as a man in need to hip and knee replacement surgery, who could barely get himself out of bed in the morning. He was contemplating retirement at this time, which he eventually did but the retirement only lasted 3 months before he was back in the ring. Funk would go on to have several more retirement matches since and announced his most recent retirement on January 12 2013 at age 68. A lot of wrestlers carry on purely because wrestling is like an addiction, but the price they pay at the end is also unlike that of any other professional athletes.

Performance Centre

The most common argument I hear this that the outcome of each match is pre-determined and that takes away from the realism, but predetermined outcomes affect all of your favourite television shows, and they are not real so what makes that more acceptable than wrestling? Take for example CSI. You know before you even watch it that in the end they solve the crime and catch the bad guy so why bother watching if that’s the case? Simple, you watch it for the entertainment and you watch it because you enjoy it. WWE is no different to this but people still seem to frown upon it as if it is different to any other form of television program. WWE has all the same excitement and drama as any other show on television, if not more. It’s story lines are unique and intricate and it is a difficult job for the creative team to come up with new and exciting story lines consistently each week. So while the match outcomes are predetermined, just ask the person speaking to you to think the same about their favourite show before they sit down and watch it and get them to tell you how that is any different.

Finally, given that people think that wrestling is just fake in general I come on to the subject of spots that have left wrestlers injured or worse. Take for example the Joey Mercury Ladder spot at Armageddon in 2006 when Mercury was blasted in the face by a double team move by Matt & Jeff Hardy. If wrestling is fake then did Joey Mercury fake all that blood from his face and the facial features from the photo below? Wrestling is very real and serious injuries happen. One of the more serious injuries suffered, aside fro the untimely death of Owen Hart, was when Darren ‘Droz’ Drozdov suffered a serious neck injury in October 1999 when a D’Lo Brown power bomb went wrong and caused his to severely fracture discs in his neck. Although he has gained movement in his upper body, Droz will likely spend the rest of his life in a wheel chair. For a sport that is supposedly fake that is a pretty horrific way to spend the rest of your life.

Joey Mercury

Most people who criticize wrestling for being fake and criticize people for watching the product usually do not understand the most basic fundamentals about wrestling. To some it will never be real no matter how much of an argument you put up. However, there are plenty of people out there who I am sure can be persuaded that wrestling is more than just some pre-determined sport. It is a product full of extremely fit athlete’s who make huge sacrifices for a sport they love. Sure, you could easily go on Youtube and just show people wrestling injuries and ask them if they think that it’s fake, but there are plenty of other arguments you can give to people who sit and question wrestling. It takes someone special to be a professional wrestler and they go through a lot of things in life that a lot of us will never have to experience. They can get injured and live a difficult life without anyone stopping and thinking about the sacrifices the superstars actually make. Wrestling may be predetermined, but it certainly isn’t fake. In the word’s of Kurt Angle, “It’s real…It’s damn real.”

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  • Charlie

    Great article! (although I say that about every article on this site) The title honestly got me to read this. You have all the points I would, and have made and it is truly not fake. Well done.

    • Jamie Welton

      Thanks Charlie, really glad to see you enjoyed the article.

  • Lar

    Great article! My recommendation for informing anyone about the appeal of pro wrestling is to get them to listen to a podcast like Art of Wrestling or the Steve Austin show. Listen to the stories the people that talk on these shows tell, the dedication they put into learning their craft, the toll it takes on their lives, then try to throw out the word fake.

    Yes, professional wrestling is a predetermined sport. Why should that take away from its entertainment value? If anything, it's that aspect that puts it above the entertainment level of other sports. The ability of these performers to tell a story, live, in front of thousands of people, night after night, is incredible. The greatest wrestlers are the ones who perfected the art of either making you believe the story was real, or in the case of 'smart' fans, not care that it wasn't. The best example: Every year at Wrestlemania, The Undertaker winning is a foregone conclusion. Yet for the past 7 years, Batista, Edge, HBK, HHH, and Cm Punk have made millions believe they were going to win, or not care that they knew they wouldn't. The ability to tell that story, live, deserves as much respect as any other athlete or performer, if not more.

    • Jamie Welton

      Thanks Lar, glad you enjoyed it. I’ve not heard the Art of Wrestling podcast myself so will check it out on your recomendation.

      People do not give the sport the credit or respect it deserves because they have these pre-concieved thoughts about it. The outcome being predetermined should not have anything to do with whether you should watchi it or not. If people thought that about half the shows on television then you can guarentee hardly anyone would watch anything.

  • Chris Owen

    Nice mate! Brilliant as always. Totally agree, I get sick of people saying it is not real and it is because they don't understand the concept. They don't watch because they have preconceived ideas of what entertainment is. They really wrestle and some are actually quite good. Do they think for one minute Kurt Angle would do it if they felt something was not right. They push the boundries of professional wrestling to a whole new level and compared to olympic style wrestling have more injuries some of which life threatening. Some have to learn how to wrestle and go through an awful lot to make it, i imagine the training is a hell of a lot more intense. Although it is there choice to be a WWE superstar I bet the olypics wrestlers are going to have a nice Christmas with there family!! I am sorry but the predetermined results dwarf the reasons to watch because in most cases (Apart from the Undertaker at Mania) who wins will always be a mystery until it happens. I don't try to change peoples minds when thy tell me it is not real I try to explain the reasons why I watch and try to get my point across, but if they still don't realise that it is real I show them the youtube footage of Mercury with the ladder and let them make there own mind up!!!!

    • Jamie Welton

      Thanks Chris, pleased you enjoyed it. For me the fact the results are predetermined means nothing – Before I watch the match I have no idea generally who they are going to have booked to win, it’s ALWAYS a guess (The only time is Undertaker at Wrestlemania but as Lar said, the opponents in recent years have kept us all second guessing). I watch for the spectacle of it all, the entertainment, and the athleticism of what these guys and girls do. It takes a lot to be a WWE superstar, or to be a wrestler in general. I suppose there is always the option to ask if they would like to be fake kick/punched in the face but they will quickly realise wrestling is more real than you think. Some people will never change their minds or beliefs though, but I just remind them of the predetermined outcomes of their films or books when they start on the whole fake arguement

  • Justin Mayo

    forgot to mention movies, bro! movies have characters and scripts too, just like Raw- one thing my mom and stepdad seem to be too dense to understand. as always, great work man!

  • http://WWENews.net Mike McCarthy

    Love this! People say it's fake…No. You're looking at it the completely wrong way. When Jeff Hardy jumps off a ladder and lands on Edge who's on another ladder it's "not real" because apparently gravity doesn't apply to wrestlers.

  • http://Wwe.con Azazel

    Peeps that wind up devoted fans saying its so fake are the type of ideots that devote their life to soap operas n rom coms, every night of their lives crying to fake couples breaking up. The type that watch reality tv shows religously. I say the same thing every time to these people. Wrestling shows are soap operas with violence!! Weather it’s wwe, tna, nwa, czw or an old recording of wcw or ecw…. It’s entertainment. High risk, bloody shows on a weekly bases with exaggerated story lines and you know what? It’s great!!! Fully fledged greatness that helps people like me get through the week and gives us something to look forward to when the kids aren’t here to entertain us. I’m 27 and still love wrestling just as much as I did at age 4.

  • TheUltimateWorrier

    To me, it's predetermined outcomes of wrestling matches coupled with interesting storylines. And it's all so ridiculous, I just laugh my ass off all the way through. Saying it's fake is tantamount to complaining that the movie you're watching is fake.